M65 fires 280mm nuclear-tipped artillery have a blast power of approximately that of the bomb dropped in Hiroshima. It was fired just once and after that used as a deterrent in the cold war.
The design and capacity of the history-making artillery
Later on, Robert M. Schwartz designed the atomic cannon. Being designed in 1949 and was larger than anything US military has ever produced. It is 4000 times stronger than the bomb mentioned above, and the resultant W9 is 850 pounds with an 11×55 inch shell and a gun-type nuclear tip. It is capable of producing kiloton of the blast. While such a big and complicated device should have taken time to design, Schwartz got the rough idea ready in just 15 days. With the capability of W9 shells, the design is inspired by the M65 and Krupp K2.
M65, also designed by Shwartz, is transported via roads. It weighs around 83 tons and needed two trucks packing with a 375 horsepower engines. If the road is straight and reasonably flat, you can drive the canon at a speed of 35 mph. One has to be in constant communication while driving this massive and powerful artillery.
If you happen to drive it on a narrow road, as perfectly recalled, one soldier Jim Michalko and narrow streets of Germany, they ended destroying several buildings in the way. The atomic cannon is made ready to nuke in 15 minutes by 5 well-trained crew members. The canon can hit at the accuracy of 20 miles and in another 15 minutes, be ready to nuke again.
As mentioned before, M65 is nuked just once it was the time of Operation Upshot-Knothole, where a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted in 1953 by the Nevada National Security Site. Also, the only time the bomb nuked from the cannon during the Grable test at Frenchman Flat. The nuke flew 10 kilometers, that is, 7 miles through the air and exploded about 500 feet above the ground.
The resulting explosion destroyed everything within a miles radius. It released a shockwave and seared hot air tearing apart light armory containing vehicles set at a particular distance. It was witnessed by hundreds of military officials, thousand soldiers, some members of Congress, and Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson. They all looked at the explosion from 10 miles away and were awestruck.
After that, the footage of the test was passed on to the Soviets. Further, twenty M65 cannons were ordered to be created, which were to be shipped to South Korea and Europe. The artillery spent a decade here and is finally moved to its various classified locations.
Later on, it was found that the M65 that was debuted in 1953 went the way of Dodo in 1963. The US military can proudly take the credits of this amazing artillery designed to be shot from 20 miles away and affect up to 2 miles even if it burst 500 feet above the ground.